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Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D)

Armstrong, Johnson vote for resolution opposing Trump's Syria decision

WASHINGTON — Nearly two weeks after President Donald Trump ordered United States troops to withdraw from northern Syria, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution Wednesday, Oct. 16, that opposes the decision and condemns a Turkish invasion of the region.

Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., were among the 129 Republicans who voted with House Democrats in favor of the resolution, which required a two-thirds majority to pass. Only 60 Republicans voted against the measure. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., was not present for the vote but said he would have voted for the resolution.

Following Trump’s order to pull out of the region, Turkish forces under the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invaded Kurdish-held territory as part of a violent campaign to decimate the Kurdish population and create a so-called “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border.

Armstrong said he supported the measure because of the need to protect Kurdish allies from the Turkish onslaught and prevent the reemergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, widely known as ISIS.

“This (vote) isn’t a condemnation of president,” Armstrong said. “It’s to let Erdogan know that this cannot continue.”

A spokeswoman for Johnson referred Forum News Service to a tweet sent shortly after the vote.

“Our Kurdish allies stood with the US in the fight against ISIS, now is not the time to abandon them,” Johnson said in a tweet.

Armstrong and Johnson also expressed support for heavy economic sanctions against the Turkish government to deter any further violence against Kurdish allies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump had an insult-laden "meltdown" in a meeting with Democratic leaders after the vote, according to The Washington Post. While speaking to reporters Wednesday in the Oval Office, Trump said "the Kurds are no angels" and maintained that the fight between Turkey and the Kurds doesn't have to involve the U.S.